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"Best Minds: How Allen Ginsberg Made Revolutionary Poetry from Madness" by psychiatrist, researcher, and scholar Stevan M. Weine, M.D

Fordham University Press

Allen Ginsberg’s 1956 poem “Howl” opens with one of the most resonant phrases in modern poetry: “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness.” Thirty years later, Ginsberg entrusted a Columbia University medical student with materials not shared with anyone else, including psychiatric records that documented how he and his mother, Naomi Ginsberg, struggled with mental illness.

In "Best Minds," psychiatrist, researcher, and scholar Stevan M. Weine, M.D., who was that medical student, examines how Allen Ginsberg took his visions and psychiatric hospitalization, his mother’s devastating illness, confinement, and lobotomy, and the social upheavals of the postwar world and imaginatively transformed them.

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